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Founded: 1891
Designer: Willie Campbell
Championship Length: 6,226 yards
PAR: 71
SSS (Course Rating): 70
Type: Links
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Who this course is best for:

A golfer who’d like to get off the beaten path and removed from the ‘civilized’ world to play links golf (and doesn’t mind a boat ride or a flight to get there).


Originally laid out by Willie Campbell in 1891, Machrie Golf Links was described by its creator as “the best ground for a golf course that I have ever had the pleasure of viewing.” Apart from a few alterations carried out by Donald Steel during the 70s and 80s, the course remains very much the same as the original masterpiece. The course lies on an island, Islay, off Scotland’s west coast. The best manner by which to reach Machrie is by mini-ferry, ideal for a small to medium sized group of golfers. From Troon the trip is about 2 1/4 hours.

There are, indeed, many reasons to relish the prospect of playing at Machrie Links, not least of which is the stunning surrounding scenery. When allied to the quality of the course, the natural hazards of the links game, a number of blind holes and the sense of history that effuses from the venue, any day spent here will certainly be a memorable one.

Part of the Machrie Links’s enduring history is its own Open Championship of 1901, an event forever remembered due to the presence in the field of the “Great Triumvirate,” which comprised Harry Vardon, John Henry Taylor and James Braid. The event carried the highest prize money of any open competition at that time – the princely sum of one hundred pounds.

Taking place a few days after the Open Championship had been won by James Braid at Muirfield, the same man stood on the final green at Machrie with a putt to halve the match against Taylor. Unfortunately for the newly crowned open champion, his putt struck a piece of sheep dung on its way to the hole, and Braid was denied his chance of pocketing the richest prize in golf.

While you can be sure that your putt will not be denied by the same phenomenon that befell James Braid, the enjoyment gleaned from a round here, coupled with Machrie’s enduring sense of history, will ensure that the experience will forever live in the memory.

Course review content courtesy of Golf Publisher Syndications

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“We want to express our appreciation to Pioneer Golf for the fantastic and memorable time we had in Scotland and Ireland.”

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Tours that include this Course

Machrie Golf Scotland


Remote Scotland

Six rounds of golf:

  • Machrihanish-Championship Course
  • Machrie
  • Machrihanish Dunes
  • Shiskine
  • Royal Troon-Old Course
  • Turnberry-Ailsa Course